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Re: OT: tank question

Shireen Gonzaga <whimbrel at comcast_net> wrote:
> <snip>
> While working on my 20g long micro-reef last night,
> I heard a loud popping noise. It was the trimming
> that surrounds the top of the tank.  It just pull-
> apart snapped in two, right in the center. (I have
> no idea what AGA tank trimmings are made of. It
> looked like wood, or maybe it's plastic made to look
> like wood.)
> The tank is still standing and seems secure. But the
> glass obviously expanded quite a bit to cause such a
> break. Should I get rid of this tank, or is it safe
> to continue using it?

Hi, Shireen--

It's only a 20g tank, so that means you only need
to mop four times with a 5-gallon bucket.  ;-)

The bowing of the tank suggests the stresses are
real and different from how the tank was designed.
I've seen a lot of tanks fail over time like this,
both commercial and custom tanks.  The bowing will
stress the silicone in the corners of the glass
tank, and it will eventually fail (I even saw a
240g fail after watching the separation grow over
a period of about two months... why the fish store
never addrssed the problem I'll never know.  The
mess was very impressive, but the 16" oscar and
22" clown loach--yes, clown loach-- were pretty
p*ssed. ;-)

My 55g had the same problem.  The best solution
I found was to get two U-shaped saddle clamps
available at your local hardware store (they look
), and place those over the two sides in the
middle of the tank, and then run a chain between
the two (there are a lot of very nice decorative
chains in a number of colors).  It holds
the sides in just as well as the original 
cross-brace, and looks great.

You can't replace the cross-brace, or repair it,
and it's way expensive to get a whole new top
piece (so don't bother).  I've tried silicone
and cement to attach a supporting piece of plastic
across the broken support and a number of other
options, but I've never had success (the linear
stress is too great).  If you have an idea there,
I'd be very interested.  However, the two-clamps-
and-chain method is so small, easy, successful,
and cheap that I've given up on other options.

Good luck...


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